Are you searching for tools to keep a calm, balanced but creative mind? A sustainable home practice that you will stick to? A way to keep you lucid, fit and able to react in a constructive way to unexpected and stressful happenings? A way to unblock your creativity and sharpen your focus?
Amsterdam Yoga Nieuw-west members are entitled to a 5-class pass for EUR 25 (normal price is EUR 45) which has no expiry date. I will send the details on how to book with the discount to those of you registered with a Yoga Nieuw-west. If you do not receive the information by email by end of 1 December, then please get in touch.
Yoga by its nature should be sustainable, yet yoga injury is becoming increasingly common. This could be due to the surge in popularity of yoga worldwide as well as a growing willingness of people to talk about their injuries, owning up that even the universe doesn’t protect yoga practitioners from injury in their practice.
The benefits of practicing yoga are many, and regular practice of yoga postures increases flexibility, strength and balance, with increased sensitivity being the side-effect. Despite this increased sensitivity, it might seem strange that even the most experienced yoga practitioners and teachers suffer yoga injury at some point over time.
Although there is no sure way never to get injured–we are only human after all–there are some things to keep in mind when you do yoga postures.
Yoga and champion may not go hand in hand in your mind. After all, yoga is neither a combative sport nor competitive in any form. A person who is champion in yoga, therefore, is master of both mind and body. Looking to an extreme example of this awareness and discipline in practice is inspiring.
Some back-bending tips from world yoga champion Kasper van den Wijngaard
“There are many different back-bends but in general you have to bend from top to bottom, upper, middle, lower spine. Ideally you get the shape of a circle, no jagged edges. If your spine is open, yes, you can bend the whole spine — ‘whooosh’ — in a matter of seconds. However, in the process of opening up the spine, don’t be in a hurry to go as deep as possible.” Read the full article.
A champion in action
Enjoy seeing this video of Kasper van den Wijngaard in action, but remember, your practice doesn’t ever need to look like this to be beneficial. Just stay with where you are today. Every little step done with feeling, breathing and correct alignment is a step to healing.
A six minute forty second presentation on what hot yoga is can leave you breathless — but if you do yoga…well, it helps! And hey, if it isn’t perfect, then remember three things: Practice, practice, practice. It’s all about the breath.
Breathing through imperfect lines: Sketch by Natasha Gunn
When used as a tool for self-transformation and awakening to clearer awareness, yoga starts the moment a student first pays attention to what he or she is doing in the practice.
If a student is unsteady, falling, in pain, or distracted by discomfort, the tendency will be to go back into his or her analytical or agitated mind. Sthira and sukham— steadiness and ease— give the asanas their transformative potential.
Being steady does not mean being perfectly still in a pose that you hold for a very long time. Asanas, by contrast, are alive, in each moment a unique expression of the human being doing them.
This posture stimulates the thyroid and parathyroid glands, increases blood supply to the brain and also strengthens the upper body, opens the chest and stretches the neck, shoulders and uppper back muscles.
lie on your back and bend your legs and gently bring your thighs as much toward your chest as possible. Use your hands to help you move your hips up off the mat. Place the palms of the hands on the back of the ribs, resting the shoulders well on the floor. Tip your hips backward and bring your legs up to a 45 degree angle. Push from your toes, tip your hips backward into a more pronounced dog-tilt and allow your feet to leave the floor, bringing them until they point upward. Move your spine into your back, open and expand the chest and make your back slightly concave.